COUNCIL bosses said they were keeping a close eye on an unauthorised travellers’ encampment on a public car park in Blackburn.

Six caravans and associated vehicles turned up at the Aqueduct Road site last week, and complaints are understood to have been lodged by Thwaites Empire Theatre and Blackburn Rovers, ahead of yesterday’s East Lancashire derby.

But it is understood that the new arrivals had stopped off in town to attend a funeral for a resident of the official travellers’ site nearby.

Coun Maureen Bateson, who represents Ewood ward, said: “We have been working on this issue for a few days. I understand that the family are attending a funeral today.

“I have discussed this with senior officers and it is obviously a sensitive matter. We have had complaints from Thwaites Empire and Rovers, as the car park would have been well-used for the derby.

“There are legal processes in place if the site is not vacated tomorrow, so we will have to wait and see what happens.”Blackburn Drama Club has staged its latest show, Breaking The Code, at the Empire and the car park is usually a popular choice among theatre-goers.

Coun Bateson added: “It is not the best of situations.

“I understand the travellers’ traditions, but there are other people to think about as well, and I have been raising this with officers at the council.”